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Ports: Pressure at the Ports Review (PC)

Are you old?
Do you miss the days when games were nice and slow?
Do you come home from your monotonous day at work craving equally monotonous game play?
Are you under 5?

If you answered ‘yes’, to one or more of the above, maybe ‘Ports’ is for you.

‘Ports’ is a simulator game made by a little known games company (Ed: Its from Excalibur, they are very successful!) from somewhere in the depths of England. You play a random little port worker, and you have to ‘manage’ the port.

To start with I chose ‘Mission Mode’ first.  I knew from the second it loaded that this was not going to go well. I looked like one of ‘The Village People’.  Off I go in search of whatever vehicle they want me to drive first, walking and running painfully slowly.  I’m told if my ‘Straddle Carrier’ gets stuck I can reset the vehicle by pressing backspace. This turns out to be extremely helpful advice, as I get stuck on invisible walls every few minutes.

So after wedging myself out of one of these invisible walls (I tried to throw myself off the port) I decide to stop trying to commit suicide and do the task: pick up some crates. I drive to the crates. The speed of the driving reminds me of old people armed with zimmer frames. I soldier on regardless.

After around 5 tasks, i’m instructed to race against a fictional co worker. A RACE! NO WAY! We race using ‘Wheel Loaders’. They are slow as shit. It makes for nail biting stuff, like watching a race between snails, or turtles, or other slow animals, or the aforementioned old people with zimmer frames.

Along with the always exciting ‘Mission Mode’, we are also offered two additional modes. As if we needed anything more. ‘Business Mode’ allows you to take ‘jobs’ from incoming ships, earn money from those jobs, maintain vehicles with the money, etc. ‘Free Play’ just lets you do whatever the hell you want. There is also a wee map editor… though it really wasn’t very editable. There are also little achievements you can get.. but sorry… i’m not driving 1000km in any of those things.

The modes get very boring very quickly, and you soon wish you could do something interesting, like blow up ships or crates. Maybe If I could blow up shit I would actually be motivated to play past the few missions I played. Maybe if the mission were to bomb the shit out of some ports, i’d be more enthusiastic.

I would love to write a super long awesome review that is eloquent and awesome like myself, but there just isn’t anything else to say about this game… I didn’t enjoy it at all… I was promised hustle and bustle, and I didn’t find either! The graphics were just terrible! I was bored out of my mind! Never having been to an actual port, I wouldn’t know how to compare the game to real scenarios, though I would hazard a guess that most ports have more than one person running them.

When Tom told me about ‘Ports’, he mistakenly informed me that there was an exclaimation mark in the title. That would have been a redeeming quality. So it is with utter SADNESS and DISAPPOINTMENT that I award ‘Ports'(!)…



By Hollie Aitken


Published inReviews